Leroy Sane’s season at Bayern Munich has gone through its share of twists and turns. He started off underwhelming, then looked completely revitalized after being switched to the left flank by Julian Nagelsmann, but has recently been experiencing a dip in form as Bayern has already clinched their tenth straight Bundesliga title. This dip in form has resulted in a considerable spell where Sane has started from the bench and has predominantly been used as a substitute. Nagelsmann has shown a preference to Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and even Jamal Musiala has come on the pitch before him a handful of times in recent weeks.
Much like Nagelsmann and the rest of Bayern’s staff, Hasan Salihamidzic has taken notice of Sane’s dip in form. It was Brazzo that was the chief architect of getting Sane to join Bayern from Manchester City in what was a transfer saga that seemed to last for ages due to the knee injury he suffered ahead of the start of the 2019/20 season. Speaking on Sky Sports less than 24 hours after Bayern had secured the Meisterschale, Brazzo expressed his concern and desire for Sane’s form to make a turn for the better.
“Leroy is an incredibly talented young man, he has everything. He also has that mental strength. But, now he has to come,” Salihamidzic explained (Sport1). “We were all happy, he single-handedly decided games in the first half of the season. It’s fun when he has that body tension. It’s fun to watch him,” he continued in his reflection of Sane’s strong run of form in the Hinrunde.
There’s no silverware left to play for as there is only three weeks left of the Bundesliga, but Sane will certainly want to sharpen his craft as much as possible ahead of preseason preparations, the start of next season, and the World Cup in the winter with Germany. Had he been able to make more of an impact in the same vein that he had been during his strong run during the Hinrunde, Bayern might’ve fared better against Villarreal in the Champions League, though that’s certainly not a be all end all.
“If he doesn’t have the excitement, then I just don’t like it. That’s what I don’t want as the person in charge. Then it becomes a bit more serious. People talk about potential. And I want to see that on the pitch. If I say it once, twice, three times, then maybe first I stroke, then it becomes more serious and then maybe again a bit more serious. Then maybe I stroke again, but then it has to bang on the pitch. Not only we in the management, but also coaches and the team - who expects him to explode,” Salihamidzic explained in his assessment of what’s been going on with Sane.
Salihamidzic knows that he’s seen a growth in maturity and development of mental toughness in Sane in the past season and a half. In the past, he’d been criticized for having a poor attitude both on and off the pitch and exhibiting petulance on the pitch when things don’t go away, but Salihamidzic says that’s no longer the case, especially after they have one on one meeting in his office at Sabener Strasse. “When he leaves my office, I think, now it goes boom,” he said in describing Sane’s reactions to their discussions.